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Winning Government Cost Proposals

2- Day Live Training. Next Class is March 4-5, 2021

This is a two-day course on developing a winning federal government cost volume.  This government contract pricing training discusses all aspects of winning cost volumes, aimed at both finance professionals and capture and proposal managers who are just starting to delve into intricacies of government pricing. 

Cost volume development training starts with cost proposal literacy. it shows differences between cost, price, price strategy, and price to win, and delves into such cost buildup elements as fringe, overhead, G&A, and fee. It covers allowability, allocability, and reasonableness of government costs, and a slew of other important rules. It then dives into how the government evaluates cost proposals so that you know what happens "behind the curtain." It discusses cost proposal management during capture, including competitor price analysis and price to win fundamentals. It then dives into assumptions to set boundaries around cost, and techniques for bridging the gap between proposal manager leading the technical proposal team, and those in your company who are pricing government contracts.

The second part of the class focuses on less practiced cost volume techniques such as developing a highly persuasive cost proposal narrative, developing basis of estimates (BOEs) and work breakdown structure (WBS), specific strategies for developing winning cost volumes while maximizing your profit and reducing risk given the specific contract type, refining your cost proposal, and more.

Most often, price is the most important part of writing proposals for government contracts, as it differentiates you from competition that may be technically equal. It is especially true when the government uses Lowest Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA) evaluation criteria instead of Best Value. Even when it is a Best Value procurement, the lowest bidder will most likely get the award. Most companies, however, miss the most important elements of process and deliverable for the cost volume, and fail to shine in an area where they could dominate. Take this course to maximize your government priceproposal win probability.

This course is composed of 50 percent lecture, 40 percent exercises, and 10 percent discussion.

The experts who teach our business development, capture and proposal training are highly experienced currently practicing proposal professionals whose years of successful experience in Government acquisition and training allow them to offer valuable insights to our students. Our instructors can answer tough questions as they come up during the course. They can also tailor the material to their students’ specific challenges, and share their experience based on the most current realities. Check our instructor’s bios on our About page.
Developing a winning cost volume
Location: OST Global Solutions, Inc., 7361 Calhoun Place, Suite 560, Rockville, MD 20855 (check
our Visitor Guide for location details, driving directions, nearby hotels and restaurants, and more).

Remote Attendance: This course is available via GoToMeeting with live video feed. The price per seat is the  same as in-person participation. Many of our students save on travel costs and attend from other locations.

Professional Certification: This is either a major or elective class that provides 2 units (2 days) towards Bid & Proposal Academy certification (depending on the certification type). By attending this  class, you will receive 3 CEUs or more towards your APMP certification, or PDUs towards your PMP (check with the  PMI on what they will honor). At the end of this course, you will get a Certificate of Completion.

Who should attend this course: Proposal pricers, finance managers who prepare cost volumes, cost volume managers, capture managers, proposal managers, proposal department directors, government contractor company owners and executives, business developers.

Course materials: Course workbook, exercise handouts, handy cost proposal references.

Course Curriculum
Day 1 Highlights
Module 1: Cost Proposal Training for Non-Finance Professionals
  • Roadmap to winning in cost volumes.
  • ​Cost literacy – differences between cost, price, price strategy, and price to win. 
  • ​Cost and price components basics, and cost proposal examples. 
  • ​Example of pricing to build comfort of non-finance professionals with the cost volume. 
  • ​Contract cost principles and procedures. 
  • ​Cost accounting standards. 
  • ​Cost and pricing data. 
  • ​Contract types important to pricing.
Module 2: Important Details About Cost Proposal Evaluation that Impact Cost Proposal Development
  • ​Cost proposal evaluation factors, including understanding the difference between pricing strategies for best value and lowest price technically acceptable evaluations.
  • ​ Evaluation criteria weighting to allocate proposal resources correctly. 
  • ​Understanding proposal evaluators to address their key concerns. 
  • ​ Cost proposal evaluation process, and how adherence to the process figures into cost proposal preparation.
  • ​Understanding evaluation intricacies. 
  • ​Why the Government doesn’t end up evaluating the price you bid – and how to avoid the pesky plus-ups.
Module 3: Cost proposal Management During Capture
  • Cost team’s involvement during the capture process.
  • ​Proposal manager’s involvement into capture from the cost proposal perspective.
  • ​Determining different options for a solution. 
  • ​Determining your price competitiveness. 
  • Exercise: perform price analysis using a case study.
Module 4: Price to Win (PTW) Development
  • Price to Win (PTW) development process.
  • ​ Top-level flow to create the win. 
  • ​ Questions the technical team can help answer for PTW analysis. 
  • ​ PTW information sources and their use. 
  • ​ How to integrate competitive analysis with a pricing model. 
  • ​ How to perform labor rate analysis. 
  • ​ How to create the win using the PTW. 
  • Exercise: Apply strategies in the case study to arrive at the PTW
Module 5: Managing Cost Volume Development During the Proposal
  • ​Resource planning for the proposal to resource your proposals to win, reduce stress, and establish better control over the proposal budget.
  • ​ Cost volume development process steps. 
  • ​ Cost inputs into a Bid-No-Bid decision. 
  • ​ How a proposal manager can facilitate the cost development process and work closely with the cost team. 
  • ​ Cost volume manager’s role.
  • ​ Immediate tasks for the proposal manager to oversee while managing the cost team at the proposal start. 
  • ​ Cost team kickoff tasks checklist.
Day 2 Highlights
Module 6: How to Develop a Highly Persuasive Cost Proposal Narrative
  • ​Best practices for how to write a cost proposal narrative.
  • ​ Cost proposal narrative content. 
  • ​ How to use graphics to depict key pricing themes and discriminators. 
  • ​ How to write a persuasive cost volume executive summary. 
  • Exercise: develop a cost proposal template for a compliant and compelling cost volume.
Module 7: Cost Volume Refinement Techniques
  • Ensuring that cost volume and technical volume agree.
  • ​ Strategies and techniques to tweak the technical and management solutions to bring down costs and achieve your price to win.
Module 8: Developing the All-Important Assumptions for Better Price Optics and Modifications After Proposal Award
  • How to develop and collect assumptions and proposal basis that help increase cost-competitiveness.
  • ​Usual assumptions.
  • ​Additional assumptions that help with price optics.
Module 9: How to Develop a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) for Better Proposal and Cost Controls After Award
  • ​How to develop the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS).
  • ​PWBS and CWBS. 
  • ​ Considerations in CWBS development.
  • ​ How to scrub the CWBS. 
  • ​ Relationship between CWBS and cost accounts. 
  • ​ How to develop a WBS Dictionary. 
  • Exercise: Construct a WBS for the contract.
Module 10: How to Develop Basis of Estimate (BOE) to Ghost Competition and Provide Greater Confidence to the Customer in Your Cost Proposal
  • ​Developing the dreaded BOEs that are perfect for ghosting low-ballers.
  • ​ Pros and cons of estimating methods such as analogy, crosschecks, parametric, and the detailed engineering bottom-up method. 
  • ​BOE template.
Module 11: Price strategies to Win in the Price Portion of Your Cost Proposal
  • How to sharpen the pencils and apply price strategies appropriate for different contract types.
  • ​ Price strategies for cost-type, fixed price, and other contracts. 
  • ​ How to win in LPTA competitions.
Module 12: Final Tips on Winning in the Cost Volume
  • Cost volume reviews.
  • ​ Final tips on how to not be intimidated by cost proposals even if you are not a numbers person.
Module 13: Summary and Recap
Learning Objectives
The participants will learn and practice skills in:
  • Understanding the basics and principles of creating a cost volume.
  • ​Understanding how contract type influences government proposal pricing. 
  • ​Implementing proposal pricing strategies for best value versus lowest price technically acceptable proposals.
  • ​Winning on price. 
  • ​Handling cost volumes if someone is not a numbers person. 
  • ​Understanding how cost proposal evaluation affects the development process. 
  • Influencing government evaluators to grade your cost volume most favorably. 
  • ​Developing a price-to-win (PTW) analysis that incorporates competitive analysis, program intelligence, and maximizes win probability (Pwin). 
  • ​Using your proposal resources most effectively on the cost volume. 
  • ​Applying tools of persuasion for the cost and business volume. 
  • ​Refining the cost volume for maximum polish and punch. 
  • ​Developing and collecting the best assumptions out there to put clear boundaries around your price proposal. 
  • ​Developing Work Breakdown Structures (WBS). 
  • ​Using Bases of Estimate (BOE) to ghost your competitors and discredit low-ballers who are seeking to buy their way into a government contract.
“Even with 20+ years of experience in Dept of Defense project and program management, I am new to large proposal development. This course provided a wealth of new ideas on how to take our cost proposals to the next level - something very valuable to a small business.
Ross Green
Program Manager 
Charles River Analytics
"I've been in the pricing business for 12 years and attended numerous seminars and classes on this subject. OST Global Solutions has put together a course that presents strategies I've never seen taught before. Kudos for thinking outside the box! "
Drew Ashley
Director of Pricing
ASM Research 
I am new to proposals but found this course to be satisfying on both fundamental and much more sophisticated levels. I am confident this class will make our company's pricing volumes much more compelling."
Jonathan Sondei
Proposal Writer
Iconnex Inc.
Winning Government Cost Proposals
$1390 per one attendee
$1250 per attendee when registering a team of 3 or more
Register for an Upcoming Class

Classes start at 9am EST and end at 5pm EST each day.

March 4-5, 2021
Sept 1-2, 2021
Dec 2-3, 2021
Seating is limited to 16 participants. Do not delay registering.
Cancellations and rescheduling policy: Cancellation notification must be received 10 business days prior to the  training date. Upon notification, your registration fee will be refunded less a $100 non-refundable processing fee.  Any cancellations beyond the 10 business days are non-refundable, but the course fee can be applied towards another training course, webinar, or an OST Global Solutions training product. No refunds will be made for the cancellation of a rescheduled course. Courses need to be rescheduled at least 24 hours in advance because we have to print the  materials. As we constantly update the materials, they cannot be reused for another class. If a registrant didn't request 
to reschedule and simply doesn't show up on the day of the class, they forfeit the ability to reschedule. Attendee  substitutions may be made at any time. Payment must be received prior to the course date. No-shows are liable for the full class fee. 

Additional Information: If you would like to discuss whether this class is right for you or have any other  questions, please call 301-384-3350 during normal business hours. 

Other Types of Payment: If you’d like to pay by check and send us an invoice, please send an email to (NOTE: the payment must be received prior to the course start date).
Would you like to take this class remotely? We have webcasting capability. Please send us an email at if you’d like to attend a class via live webcast. The date and time, as well as pricing, will be the same as the classroom training.
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